By Dr. Abner Mality
There’s quite an interesting story behind this band. Matt Freeman from punk mainstays RANCID is the guiding force behind it. He teamed up with Jason Willer from punk legends U.K. SUBS and guitarist Andrew McGee to create CHARGER, which is an unabashed tribute to classic MOTÖRHEAD and SAXON sounds. They nail that style pretty well and while I’d hesitate to say CHARGER equals their inspirations, “Warhorse” is a highly enjoyable no frills assault of grimy punk metal goodness.
The songs are simple, meaty and easy to get into, usually based around Freeman’s very Lemmy-like bass runs and gruff snarls. Tunes come into two varieties: fast and faster. “Will to Survive”, “Stand Fight or Die” and “Summon The Demon” really kick into high gear with a speed not far off of “Iron Fist”. Andrew McGee may be the unknown quantity next to his more famous compatriots, but he kicks ass with a ton of great lead soloing that would do Fast Eddie Clarke proud.
Although the tunes are basic, there are some curves. “Summon the Demon” features guest vocals by Jake Nunn that are more “metallic” than the growls of Freeman and Willer. “Dig Your Own Grave” surprises with some rich Hammond organ playing with a lot of atmosphere while “Sword of DIO” is the most overly heavy metal song, coming across like SAXON in full flow. One downside to CHARGER is that the choruses border on the simple minded...mostly they are just the singer yelling out the name of the song.
But that’s not a big complaint. MOTÖRHEAD is gone for good, so maybe it’s time for CHARGER to step in and carry on…